What is the Madison Valley?
If you had the job of building winter habitat for wildlife, you would build the Madison Valley. Lying adjacent to the northwest corner of Yellowstone National Park, the 925,000-acre Madison Valley—nearly as large as Delaware—is a place of natural splendor with spectacular scenery and an abundance of wildlife found few places in the United States. The windswept benches lying between the Madison and Gallatin mountain ranges provide habitat for the same wildlife species present in the valley when Lewis and Clark explored this region in the 19th century. Today, the valley still boasts such icons of wild places as wild carnivores like grizzly bears, wolves, and wolverine. Abundant herds of up to 12,000 elk and nearly 8,000 migrating pronghorn antelope spend a portion of the year in the valley. The Madison River supports a blue ribbon trout fishery that attracts anglers from around the world.
Why not just visit Yellowstone National Park?
Yellowstone National Park holds a plethora of outdoor attractions. Wildlife, geological features, and scenic beauty abound. What makes the Madison Valley different? The Madison is composed primarily of private property. Exclusive access to these properties makes the experience unique in comparison to the unlimited access to Yellowstone Park. Visiting the valley combines the ecology present in the park and the reality of modern day ranching. Private property owners have preserved the uniqueness and integrity of the natural habitat of the valley. In addition, about 36% of private land is currently under conservation easements, ranking it the single greatest concentration of easements in Montana and once again reflecting the strong commitment residents have toward protecting their open space and wildlife heritage. Experience firsthand the difference between private and public land and resource management, and enjoy a place like no other.